CINCINNATI — It's safe to say Joe Burrow is ready to get back to work.
In an interview on the Full Send Podcast, the Bengals star said he's ready for his first NFL season after an offseason that wasn't muddled by rehab or rookie obligations.
"The main thing for me is getting my body back to where it was pre-injury. I was ready to go, but I wasn't where I wanted to be physically coming off that injury going into (last) year, it's just not possible when you get hurt like that," Burrow said. "This is my first full offseason that I'm able to really focus on my body, my game, my arm, core strength, all that stuff that I need to do."
Burrow said he watched Cincinnati's Super Bowl loss the next day and treated it like he has every other game, noting what he needs to work on and putting it behind. Repeating his sentiments in his postgame press conference, Burrow said he made sure to celebrate what the team did given how difficult the previous season was.
"I expected to go to the playoffs — coming into the year I think everyone does," Burrow said. "But going to the Super Bowl after we won four games and I tore everything in my knee, I mean I thought that was kind of a pipe dream until we started getting to the end of the year and I was like, we're pretty damn good."
With Super Bowl LVI in the rearview mirror, Burrow said he's excited to build on the team's success — especially with offseason acquisitions like La'el Collins, Ted Karras and Alex Cappa.
"Obviously I'm healthy, we got Ja'Marr coming back, we got all of our weapons coming back," Burrow said. "We added pieces on the offensive line that I think will be really good and we got everybody on defense back ... for the most part, we've got our whole team coming back, but now we know how to do it, we know what it takes to get there and we've got the experience. So, we're ready to go."
The team's offseason moves include nabbing rookies like Dax Hill and Cam Taylor-Britt. Burrow said he reaches out to everyone when they get drafted, noting how important team culture is. While he might be young, Burrow is a leader in the locker room. He said he's followed head coach Zac Taylor's lead in ensuring the team is filled with guys who love one another.
"At this level, everyone has great players," Burrow said. "I think the relationships that you make in the locker room translate to the field as far as I trust that guy, he's going to do his job, and I think building that trust in the locker room is paramount."
The Bengals will play in five prime-time games this season, the maximum allowed by the NFL. The reigning AFC champs will open the season at home against the rival Pittsburgh Steelers.
Bengals’ Burrow wasted no time getting over Super Bowl loss
Paul Brown Stadium: How much taxpayers spend on upgrades may hinge on if Bengals keep winning
Bengals 2022 schedule released: Cincinnati to play in 5 prime-time games this season